By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor
Saturday, June 15, 2013
The pro-NPP gang of young and inexperienced political activists (“Let My Vote Count Alliance”) has come out with a press statement that needs thorough scrutiny not because it has raised any issue to improve our democracy but because its intentions are roundly irritating for whatever they portend. A mere balloon of useless hot air!!
I really want to take this group to the cleaners for its members and faceless financiers and backers to know what they need to know if they want to learn the political ropes and be relevant to contemporary Ghanaian politics. Here is why. The LMVCA has called on the Supreme Court to stamp its authority and “stop this puppetry of technicalities orchestrated though the joint enterprise of lawyers for John Mahama and the NDC, using the lawyer for the Commission as the convenient, ever-willing instrument of such blatant, unpatriotic evil.” (See: http://opinion.myjoyonline.com/pages/comment/201306/107791.php) At a press conference on Wednesday, the group expressed displeasure at “this new strategy chosen by the respondents”, and said the respondents were solely relying on mislabellings on the face of the pink sheets to ensure that justice was not served.
My immediate reaction: What does this group mean by “justice not being served”? What do they consider as “justice”, anyway? To me, this petulant attitude toward Election 2012 and the NPP’s discontent as reflected in the activities of this group and all others supporting the NPP is disgusting, to put it mildly. Some inherent misconceptions surrounding this group’s stance are evident and need to be teased out and commented on: 1. MISCONCEPTION NUMBER 1 David Asante, spokesperson for the LMVCA, explained that the strategy being used by counsel for the first and third respondents “was intended to reduce this important election petition to be determined not by the substance of the evidence which the petitioners have brought for adjudication but the form by which those exhibits of evidence were filed and/or served on the respondents”. According to him, this strategy has resulted in frustration building up among millions of Ghanaians who think that “the whole essence of this case about our democracy, our votes, our governance, is being forced down to how the evidence was packaged and served rather than what is contained in the evidence.” How inconceivable! Can this Asante not know at this stage in the hearing of the petition that there is no substance on which the petition is based? What particular proof has emerged from Philip Addison’s cross-examination of Johnson Asiedu Nketiah and Dr. Afari Gyan to support any claim that the petitioners have any incontrovertible evidence for the Supreme Court to overturn the outcome of Election 2012?
Or what evidence confirms the petitioners’ claim that they submitted 11,842 pink sheet exhibits to the Supreme Court and the respondents? If so, why is the KPMG recounting and auditing that quantum of so-called “water-tight evidence” on which the NPP petitioners have banked their hopes but which has crumbled so far because of the anomalies inherent in it?
MISCONCEPTION NUMBER 2
Asante maintained that this latest strategy of the respondents’ alleging “without proof that they have not been served with exhibits which the petitioners want to cross-examine the chairman of the EC on is beginning to test the confidence that the people have in the judicial system.” Has this Asante really been following the Supreme Court’s proceedings? He would know better not to make such a claim concerning “proof” and the testing of the “confidence that the people have in the judicial system.” Why can’t the petitioners, their counsel, and supporters not know that the challenge mounted by the counsel for the respondents against the pink sheet exhibits has enough substance, which is why the KPMG is recounting and auditing those exhibits? Has he not heard the counsel for the respondents say that they had far less than what Bawumia and Addison have insisted on? Or that they won’t budge until a recounting and auditing of the exhibits was done to prove the petitioners wrong? Talking about the strategy testing the confidence that “the people” have in the judiciary is misplaced. Who are “the people”, anyway? And who says that it is the hearing of this petition that serves as a yardstick for measuring the level of confidence in the judiciary?
MISCONCEPTION NUMBER 3
Asante reminded the Supreme Court that it was because of the people's frustration with technicalities that led the Kenyan Opposition to ignore the legal option in 2008, leading to the kind of violence which the world never thought could take place in one of Africa's most stable nations. A mere useless reference aimed at rabble rousing, which deserves utmost condemnation. Who told this Asante that the Kenyan political violence was based on that reason?
We in Ghana have our own peculiarities and will do things as dictated by the dynamics of our political circumstances, not the impulse received from others elsewhere. By making this analogy, Asante has issued a veiled threat that doesn’t surprise me because it underscores the war-mongering clarion call shrouded in the “All-die-be-die” mantra of the NPP. Let the LMVCA be forewarned at this stage that they don’t have any monopoly over the instruments of violence nor can they be the only people to initiate or sustain violence. That is why I condemn this aspect of the LMVCA’s warning to the Supreme Court: “Ghanaians would not allow the justice that they seek to be denied through the frivolous and vexatious instruments of technicalities like exhibit numbers whether they begin with four zeros or no zeros at all; whether the exhibit number takes us to a polling station in Techiman or Kpandai.” Who are the “Ghanaians” that the LMVCA seeks to rope into this agitation? The majority that voted for President Mahama and put Election 2012 behind them to go about their daily activities in peace? Or the gang of malcontents constituting the petitioners and their followers who continue to defy the voice of reason from their own ranks and spiral themselves out of control everyday? Frustrated and disenchanted? What happened on Election Day hasn’t been discredited by those who participated in the elections, which is the main substance that the Supreme Court’s hearing of the petition has so far established. The NPP leaders had prepared their polling agents to be extra vigilant on the occasion to such an extent as to even instruct them and the party’s followers not to leave the polling station after casting their votes, contrary to the EC’s guidelines. These NPP elements were to hang around to monitor happenings and ward off any malpractices. And they did so. None reported any electoral malpractice. So, why should these malcontents be complaining at the outcome of Election 2012 after doing everything to prevent electoral fraud?
MISCONCEPTION NUMBER 4
Asante carried his impudence too far by attacking the integrity of the respondents’ counsel whom he described as “the Axis of Evil Against Justice”. Worse still is his claim that it was “ironic that the very people who set up People's Tribunals in the 1980s because they thought even the normal technicalities of due process were denying the people justice are now relying on technicalities to deny the nation a true and faithful trial into how the 2012 presidential race was run.” Clearly, Asante and those in this mushroom LMVCA are political neophytes who have a long way to go before comprehending the workings of Ghanaian politics. Thus, Asante’s call on “all Ghanaians to remain calm and patient and continue to put their faith in the competence of the petitioners' legal team and in the wisdom of the nine justices” is more than ridiculous. How many Ghanaians are any more interested in the crying over spilt milk that Akufo-Addo is leading these malcontents to do? Sadly, they can’t even adduce any cogent argument or produce any concrete evidence to support their allegations as contained in that petition. All they are doing through Philip Addison is boring us with statements that Dr. Afari Gyan confirms or questions that he rebuffs with sensible responses. Tired answers to stale questions!!
More pathetic is the fact that upon all their agitations to be given political power, they have nothing more than the one-dimensional approach to governance, framed around a fee-free Senior High School education. Who will give political power to such monomaniacs?
NO FUTURE FOR SUCH ELEMENTS
Having organized street demonstrations in some parts of Accra, Washington DC, London, and Italy without achieving anything noteworthy, the LMVCA has reached a dead-end. It has virtually lost its bearings and will continue to raise dust for nothing. Just like its parent (the NPP) itself, it won’t go anywhere with all these useless agitations.
Ghanaians know better to disregard it for the nuisance that it is. Having registered its notoriety thus far, it is worth writing off like a bad debt. A good riddance it is, then!
I shall return.
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